George scrambled up the embankment to the dragon. She laid down on the ground, allowing him to clamber up onto her back. When he was settled, she rose to her feet, spread her wings, and leapt off the precipice, giving a powerful flap just as George’s stomach sank through the bottom of his feet.
They flew for what seemed like days, crossing an ever-changing landscape far below. The mountains gave way to a forest, the forest to a waving grassland, the grassland to barren desert. The sun rose and set overhead, unheeded, and still the dragon flew on. She seemed to never tire, never need rest. George himself felt very invigorated, and never closed his eyes even once.
Finally, after what seemed like weeks, the dragon girl began a slow, spiraling descent towards the ground. George looked down and saw a massive expanse of beach, sand dunes as far as the eye could reach. The tide was lapping at the shore, the tang of salt was on the air, and George could now hear the waves crashing. “Where are we?” he called above the wind and the waves.
“At the beginning of the end,” the girl dragon replied without looking back. George was startled by her answer; he’d never expected something like that to be her answer. But he resolved to not let her see his disappointment.
They finally landed, the dragon kicking up spouts of sand as she slid to a halt. George climbed down gingerly, stretching muscles that hadn’t really moved much in ages. The dragon stood before him, then began to shift suddenly, shrinking, scales melting away and revealing a young girl. Her dress, which had been white, was now deep blue.
“Come, we must hurry,” she said, grabbing George by the hand and dragging him towards a boat tied up further down the beach.
“Hurry?” George said, stumbling along behind her. “Where are we going?”
“To destiny,” she replied cryptically.